What NOT to Wear to Your Holiday Office Party

We are now in the thick of the holiday season.  Christmas is only 2 weeks away which means the holiday office parties are in full force!

My husband and I recently attended his office holiday party and we had a wonderful time, as I was introduced to all of his colleagues and the DJ played awesome music.  During the down time, while snacking on the finger food provided, I had a good opportunity to glance around and observe my surroundings.  I was quickly slapped in the face with fashion faux pas after fashion faux pas and realized – “Wow!  This is great material for a blog!”

All of the examples I am about to discuss are real.  So without further ado, let’s dive right into what NOT to wear to your holiday office party, as observed first hand by moi!

(1) Plaid Smokers Jacket

This will always be a no-no unless (a) you are Hugh Hefner or (b) you are a 65-year-old country clubber going to smoke a cigar in the smoking room.  This is especially a no-no when attending an event hosted by your company.  You and your former frat brothers may think you look cool, but your much older boss will think you look like a jackass – as will all of the females in the room.  And you know why?  Because you do look like a jackass.

If you are insisting on adding some interesting holiday patterns as your “pieces of flair” this season, play it safe and keep it limited to your tie/pocket square/socks.  You won’t be making quite as loud of a statement, but it will at least be a statement that will keep your dignity (and your job).

(2) Tight White Pants – especially ones with slits up the FRONT

I am the first to advocate wearing white after Labor Day.  I think that is a stupid rule anyway; winter whites are such a nice accent to wear this time of year and helps prevent a winter wardrobe from being drab and chock full of black and brown.  The problem occurs when the items in question are too tight for your figure and then WORN TO YOUR OFFICE PARTY.  Similar to the smoker’s jacket, tight pants/skirts/tops are not appropriate for this type of venue.  It doesn’t matter that this is the first time you have worn them since high school because “Jenny Craig changed your life.”  Good for you, really and truly.  But no one wants to see that except your husband – especially with white pants.

A great alternative is white pants that aren’t skintight.  Not such a difficult concept huh?  Additionally, white pants that do not have a slit up the front.  1992 is over, sorry to say.  A great tip for this as well is to wear nude underwear with white or cream pants.  People will know what color your underwear are otherwise.

(3) Fuzzy Black Boots

This one was so obvious to me that I think the girl wearing these offensive boots saw me roll my eyes.  Not very jolly of me, but give me a break.  Fuzzy boots?  You should not wear fuzzy boots to a work party.  You should not wear fuzzy boots EVER.  This fad was so short I don’t even remember it, yet somehow, somewhere, these boots are still being made and fashion ignorant women are buying them.

I always wonder what is going through a woman’s mind when she decides to pull these on over her stocking-ed feet.   They can’t possibly be thinking, “Wow, I look so elegant and classy.”  They are consciously deciding to look like a street hooker, right?  I’m just going to go with the former so I can get some sleep tonight.

Anyway, how about not wearing these?  Ever.  Plain and simple.  Anything is better than this, including tight white pants.

(4) Red is Not Everyone’s Color

This one probably occurred the most frequently at the event.  Everyone hears “Holiday Party” and they instantly think they have to wear red.  Not so.  In case you haven’t noticed, red is a very bright color, and does not look good on everyone.  One should not force the red.  This wasn’t necessarily offensive, but I wanted to reach out a fashion friendly hand to all of these people and discuss alternatives to their all-red ensemble.  Examples include wearing black with some red accent, or green vs. red, or blue and white.  Christmas (red and green) are not the only winter holidays, you know.  Hanukkah has fully embraced blue and white and those colors work great for a holiday party.

(5) Cartoon Holiday Tie

The problem with this is that people really mean well when putting these on before a holiday party.  They feel unique and cheeky wearing a silly holiday tie.  This isn’t really offensive because the good news is, the person is wearing a tie, which means they look somewhat formal.  The bad news is, the Tasmanian Devil is on it.  Do I really need to say more?

(6) The Double Whammy

I have prayed about this one.  I do not imagine that many will encounter what I did this night, but I felt compelled to share as a warning to others.  The first is the tattoo arm sleeve.  I think everyone can appreciate this.  I myself have a tattoo and I love it and I want the world to see it – the world, minus my coworkers and boss.  Showing off your arm sleeve, and then accentuating it with a sleeveless top to boot, would only be appropriate if your place of work was a TATTOO PARLOR.  If you work for any type of business office, this is a big fat no-no.

The double whammy comes in when this is coupled with skunk hair.  Yes, you read correctly.  Skunk hair was ONLY cool on Christina Aguilera and she was smart enough to move past it.  Not only is it not cool anymore to make yourself look like Pepe Le Peu, it’s even less cool AT WORK.

For both of these, my bit of advice is to cover it up.  Or better yet, just stay home.  Or go to a dive bar and slam shots of Jack, whatever, you just don’t belong at an office holiday party.

I am sure there are others, but these were the ones I encountered recently and wanted to spread the word before it was too late.  The basic rule to follow is, if your mother/priest/grandmother would disapprove, then don’t wear it to your holiday office party.

Good luck, fashionistas!

~Corie Scarpaci

Related posts